Dixie Pixs

Trillion, as in 1,000,000,000,000

Robert Samuelson: Wall Street pay puzzle

In 2007, the last year before the crisis, annual production (gross domestic product) equaled almost $14 trillion. In the same year, household wealth was $77 trillion (5.5 times production); that covered the value of homes, vehicles, stocks, bonds and the like. Eliminating nonfinancial assets (mainly homes) cut wealth to about $50 trillion (3.5 times). Deducting household debts from financial wealth pushed net worth to $35 trillion (2.5 times income).


Meaningful tricks at crunch circus 

As a result, too many 28 year-old math stars took risks that cost them no money upfront. AIG has already cost the American taxpayer $183 billion (Dh672bn).

But it was for two special US institutions that the Hayman man reserved his real contempt: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two "government sponsored entities" which finance much of the mortgage debt in the US.

"With $5.5 trillion of outstanding debt and Mortgage Backed Securities Guarantees, the quasi-public or now in conservatorship Fannie and Freddie have obligations that approach the total amount of government-issued bonds the US currently has outstanding. There are so many things that went wrong or are wrong at these so-called GSEs that I am not sure where to start.